Poor Bryan Price. I don’t know what’s worse, continually having to throw shit pitching out there day in and out, or knowing you never even really had much pitching to begin with in the first place. With the exception of Cueto, most Leake starts (sans Saturday) and Chapman lighting up the guns, this team has somewhere between Jack and shit for arms. Descalfani has returned to the stratosphere, and while guys like Lorenzen and Iglesias look promising, it’s tough to imagine those dudes will consistently pitch lights out for the rest of the season and be that other stopper the Reds so desperately need.
To say that the bullpen is atrocious is an understatement. Maybe nauseating or vomit inducing is a more accurate description. I gotta believe one of the toughest positions to be in as a manager or a pitching coach is to have to make the decision late in a game on whether or not to stick with your starter who’s running on E or go to a bullpen that has been consistently awful all season long. Not gonna win too many baseball games when you’re staring down the barrel of that gun. Obviously you’d like to think that a good offensive performance can bail you out, but if Reds teams of the past have taught us anything, it’s that you can’t rely on the long ball and outscoring opponents to win ball games. Sure the Reds have a few guys putting up solid offensive numbers. Frazier and Votto continue to do their respective things performing at an All-Star caliber level, Marlon Byrd is finally looking like he’s at least held a baseball bat before, and it looks like we finally have a shortstop we can count on for some offensive production, but when you have a leadoff hitter who bounces around from the 1 to the 8 hole, a starting catcher that can’t get on the field, and a right fielder that couldn’t hit an exercise ball with a cricket bat, and naturally there are going to be a ton if inconsistencies. The timely hitting just isn’t there. Some nights this squad will erupt with everyone firing on all cylinders only to come back the next night and look like your buddy who’s never played The Show before, just mashing buttons on the controller and flailing at everything thrown his way.
The eternal Reds optimist in me says that this team can eventually get into a rhythm and maybe start to make some noise, but realistically what you see is probably what you’re going to get. A mediocre baseball team that beats up on their shit opponents but isn’t good enough to hold a candle to the better teams around the league. It’s sad that we’re even having this conversatiton in the middle of May, but I’ve seen far too many Reds games to know how this is going to end. I don’t know how many times I’m gonna let this team get my hopes up only to have the rug pulled out from underneath me.